There’s danger in every aspect of firing, from WARN Act layoffs and exit interviews to constructive discharge and more.
Learn how to fire an employee and sidestep wrongful termination lawsuits, with battle-tested firing procedures, and employment termination letters. At last, you can fire at will!
The EEOC is suing Pantego-based Tideland Electric Membership Corp., claiming it failed to accommodate a disabled employee. Jeffrey Erdman suffers from a chronic pain condition, but with the help of prescription painkillers, he was able to perform his job as an apprentice lineman. However, when Tideland learned of Erdman’s condition and the narcotic prescribed for his pain, it fired him.
Here’s something to remember when you’re worried about firing someone because you might get sued: Judges don’t want to run HR departments. As long as HR acts honestly and believes the employee should be fired because she broke a company rule, chances are a lawsuit won’t succeed.
According to the EEOC, leave may be a reasonable accommodation. If you fire disabled employees without at least considering time off as an accommodation, you might be sued.
Employees who have been fired generally qualify for unemployment benefits unless they were terminated for misconduct. But “misconduct” is broadly defined. It can even include rude or snippy behavior that shows an employee doesn’t really care.
Employers have a tough call to make if an employee lands a short jail sentence. Discharging the worker may be the best option. But leniency may be more appropriate in other situations. If you can explain why you treated convicted employees differently, you should be legally OK.
Employers that can show they fired an employee for violating a company policy will generally win any subsequent lawsuit—if they can show they reasonably believed that’s what happened. It doesn’t matter if later it turns out the employer was wrong.
Courts are suspicious when employees who have recently returned from FMLA leave are suddenly fired. Yet, chances are you will at some point have to terminate an employee following FMLA leave. Just make sure you can explain why, backed up by solid and contemporaneous documentation.
Here’s something to consider when terminating an older employee, while leaving younger ones in place: If your organization is sued, don’t expect the case to be tossed early on. Instead, brace for protracted litigation.
Some employees are less than honest about their absences. From the “Monday morning flu” to claiming time off for nonexistent medical treatment, employees can get creative. But what can you do if you find out later that an employee has lied to get time off? Fire him for misrepresentation.
The Supreme Court of Ohio has just created a new avenue for at-will employees who are discharged and want to claim their firing violates public policy. In the following case, the court ruled that employees who are fired after reporting an on-the-job injury but before they have a chance to file a workers’ compensation claim can sue for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.